Often disputes between artists and dealers can turn into something like a divorce with all the same spoilage. The one between James Turrell, and Michael Hue-Williams of Albion gallery displays several kinds of ugly, fouled-up business, soiled reputations, career sabotage, and — sigh– lots of compromise.
If a dealer thinks an artist is not delivering on a commission, he can bring the artist to court, for instance. as Hue-Williams did to Turrell in 2007.
And if an artist thinks a dealer is selling pieces that he was not consulted about or paid for, he can counter-sue, as Turrell did to Hue-Williams.
Now when a dealer is miffed and spending money on litigation, he may take a the semi-self-sabotaging action of selling the artist’s work off at auction to make the artist look bad. This is what Michael Hue-Williams hinted at in a 2008 e-mail.